On Friday, two days ago, I cancelled my flight and Airbnb for the Hamilton Grey Cup. From that moment on, the Roughriders were assured of a victory against the “Goliath” Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
My decision-making process was as follows. First, this is Hamilton. Hamilton. Who wants to visit Hamilton? No one. Ever. Second, the Grey Cup festival will be scaled down, and the “festival” events all promise to adhere to the nebulous covid restrictions, which if you spend any time trying to figure them out, sound like they will suck the fun out of everything. Worse, Spirit of Edmonton is located in a fancy pizza joint. Like the Ottawa Grey Cup, it just won’t feel right.
Third, Airbnb would charge me $500 of the $600 total cost of my absolutely perfect downtown suite I had reserved months ago if I cancelled after the West Final. Let’s face it, the Roughriders have no chance whatsoever against the mighty Winnipeg Blue Bombers, so why would I want to throw away $500?
WestJet screwed me over by promising that if I paid an extra fee when I booked months ago, I would be allowed a full refund. Upon cancelling my flight, WestJet cheerfully refunded my money, but explained that my refund would not be paid back “in the original form it was paid”, but rather, it would be deposited into the totally-made-up imaginary “Travel Bank” where my money will rot for two years and then disappear into the ether. Well played WestJet.
So why do I say the Roughriders are guaranteed to win? Because I cancelled my Grey Cup trip. That’s the kind of thing the Saskatchewan Roughriders do to their fans. It is only in the depths of despair, when there is no chance of a victory and the metaphorical home crowd is slowing filing out of Mosaic/Taylor Field with a few minutes left in the game, that the Roughriders decide to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat when they are most adept at doing the opposite.
What will I do if the Roughriders win later today? I don’t want to think about it. I’m hoping the Roughriders make this all a moot point and go quiet into that good night. Wait ‘til next year, like 2012.
But the Roughriders like to mess with Rider Nation. This season, I am comforted by the idea that the team will not suddenly pull out a new playoff playbook like the 1997 Reggie Slack option play, nor does this team have the kind of intangibles that 1989 had, and of course there is no Lancaster and Reed to pull it out of the fire; not even a MOP Kerry Joseph to make a late fourth quarter dash to the endzone.
But it remains a concern is that Mr. Fajardo, a hyper competitive All-American boy who is still seething about the crossbar two years ago, despite the fact that the ball was not really headed anywhere good (quadruple coverage if memory serves) on that last pass, will drag this team kick and screaming to a victory. I also remain concerned that the Roughriders did not get blown out in the two earlier Bombers games this season until the second half, so they may still have the key to unlocking the Bombers, not to mention Winnipeg quarterback Zach “Zack” Collaros could still take a mildly bad hit (or just slip on some ice) and get knocked out of the game. And then there is the weather, which is typically lousy in Winnipeg right now, resulting in an anything-can-happen scenario.
Maybe the Blue Bombers will take me out of my misery by the first half by immediately blowing the Roughriders out, but even that won’t help since that might produce one of those crazy second half comebacks for the ages.
Then what will I do?